Author Topic: Is the Church too "Euro-Centric"?  (Read 1214 times)

Offline drummerboy

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Is the Church too "Euro-Centric"?
« on: December 01, 2020, 01:36:23 PM »
Playing the devil's advocate here, but couldn't one object that if the Church is supposed to be for all men in all times and places, why is the central act of our religion, the Mass, dependent on material almost exclusively from the Mediterranean world, namely wine?  That this problem occurred is clear since, for example, missionaries in New Spain started planting vineyards, and I am aware that viticulture has spread to much of the world with European expansion, so my argument is rather moot by this point in time.  However, many parts of the world, in the past, didn't even know what wine is let alone have access to it.  In the 13th century Rome had to scold Greenland settlers for using beer in the sacrament, for example.  What if Catholics were in a situation where they simply could not get wine?  Then what?
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Offline queen.saints

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Re: Is the Church too "Euro-Centric"?
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2020, 02:18:27 PM »
Jesus is the one who used wine in Jerusalem.
 
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Offline Miriam_M

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Re: Is the Church too "Euro-Centric"?
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2020, 02:43:08 PM »
I'm not sure if the discussion is just about wine, but my general answer to the title of the thread is that today the Church is not Euro-centric enough.

People need to understand that when N.O. "missionaries" (SJW's) go to Third World countries to "evangelize" provide social services instead of religion, they don't succeed in converting the target population.  When trad apostolates, however, arrive in similar locations, dressed in European style chasubles and saying a Latin Mass, they have an amazing success rate.

Universally, people hunger for the transcendent, which is one need.  But the second aspect of a Eurocentric Church is that there is an organic quality to Catholicism that is ultimately linked to its flowering beyond the Mediterranean and its ascendancy in Europe.

Multiculturalism is a failed model of Catholicism in the First and the Third World.  When I say failed I'm not speaking of sheer numbers of baptized Catholics.  There are obviously huge populations of baptized Catholics in poor countries. But what they believe and whether they practice orthodox Catholicism is something else.  I will note that there is a palpable hunger for Tradition in some parts of Latin America, the Philippines, etc. Many American trads are Filipino, for example.
 
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Offline Philip G.

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Re: Is the Church too "Euro-Centric"?
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2020, 11:43:06 PM »
Drummerboy - You will not get anywhere questioning wine per say as the problem.  But, you might get somewhere questioning why it is that only one of 79 species of grapevine is valid for the sacrament; with that one valid type of grape, vitis vinifera, being native to the Mediterranean, and central Europe.   

To address your concerns, I however would prefer to question the practice of daily mass instead.  For, if mass was only on sundays, which I think it is among the eastern orthodox, combined with the tradition in the west of only the priest communing the blood/wine, much much less wine would be consumed.  And, such a state of affairs I believe would ease your concern about wine being unavailable or scarce. 
« Last Edit: December 01, 2020, 11:51:14 PM by Philip G. »
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Offline Daniel

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Re: Is the Church too "Euro-Centric"?
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2020, 10:06:10 AM »
I don't think it's too much of a problem since the plan was always to send missionaries out to convert the pagans. Missionaries are from areas that have wine. So the missionaries can just bring the wine with them (or, depending on climate and other conditions, they may also bring grape seeds with them and start new vineyards there).

Come to think of it though, wine has been problematic in places where the temperature is very cold. Like, I've heard that when St. Marys Kansas was first founded by the Jesuits, there were times in the winter when it was so cold that the wine would freeze solid during Mass. (Guess their chapel didn't have a furnace in those days.) And I can only imagine the problem would be far worse further north.


with that one valid type of grape, vitis vinifera, being native to the Mediterranean, and central Europe.

Interesting. Didn't know that.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2020, 12:59:26 PM by Daniel »
 

Offline Kent

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Re: Is the Church too "Euro-Centric"?
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2020, 11:29:22 AM »
What if Catholics were in a situation where they simply could not get wine?  Then what?

Then they get it?  Missionaries bring it, or they grow it in the new area, etc.  Daniel is right about wine freezing in very cold areas, like Siberia, and from that a custom was developed to add boiling water to the chalice (there is a ethno-technical-liturgical term for this practice, but I cannot recall it from the top of my head).  This practice was allowed (later revoked, if I recall, because it became abusive). 

What about the Resurrection?  What about when the gospel was preached in lands that did not have resurrection mythos?  Forget about that part because it's just too much of a culture shock?  I realize you're only playing devil's advocate.

Wine is not insignificant. It was instituted as essential matter to the sacrament by Christ Himself, who came to redeem all men.  Not just those who lived in areas with the appropriate agricultural development.  For a Catholic-- perhaps not so much a secular-- this is should not be too difficult to grasp. Only if we think about our religion as a purely sociological convention do we find wine to be negotiable.  Ditto any of the other essentials.

What you'll find is that the Church insists on conformity in all things essential.  Hence, she does not (and cannot) tolerate beer used in place of wine, or saliva used in place of water for baptism. She does not (and cannot) tolerate Arianism, unitarianism, etc. Just about everything else, though, she can and has tolerated. So, you have liturgies offered in just about every language. You have missionaries who learn the language of the people, rather than forcing the people to learn a different language. You have different cultural expressions, often ancient (or at least old), pregnant in different liturgies and traditions throughout the world. 

And that only makes sense, because the Church is a unity of faith (among other things).  At day's end there are certain things essential to that faith, and without conformity on those things, a person or community simply does not belong to the Catholic Church.  The Church wants all people to belong to her, and that is her mission at any rate. It is therefore her duty-- and one she fulfills well-- to insist on essentials, and to, in practice, provide them where they are lacking.
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Offline drummerboy

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Re: Is the Church too "Euro-Centric"?
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2020, 04:32:59 PM »
Thanks for the replies so far, they make perfect sense.  Again, I was playing devil's advocate to an unusual argument that seemed a thought provoking avenue to explore, albeit a seldom one.
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Offline TradGranny

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Re: Is the Church too "Euro-Centric"?
« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2020, 03:38:55 PM »
Thanks for the replies so far, they make perfect sense.  Again, I was playing devil's advocate to an unusual argument that seemed a thought provoking avenue to explore, albeit a seldom one.

Seldom done? The supposed lack of "multi-culturalism" has been stuffed down our collective throats for decades. Multi-culturalism and its connected lies was what led to the satanic mobs tearing down and defacing crosses of Jesus, statues of Our Lady, St. Louis and St. Serra.
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Offline Miriam_M

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Re: Is the Church too "Euro-Centric"?
« Reply #8 on: December 25, 2020, 08:07:31 PM »
Multiculturalism worships man and seeks to limit God.  God both encompasses all cultures and transcends them all.  Insisting that the Church mechanistically "become more multicultural" is a secular, modern concept that reveals a failure to understand what the Church teaches about God.
 
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Offline ralfy

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Re: Is the Church too "Euro-Centric"?
« Reply #9 on: December 25, 2020, 10:45:23 PM »
The Church was likely multicultural from the start, e.g., portions of the Bible alluding to various cultures across thousands of years, the Bible itself taken partly from Judaism, etc. Various Catholic practices found in various countries also started during periods of colonialism, which was two to four centuries ago.

And now there's the growth of Catholicism in poorer regions, especially in Africa, as richer countries face population aging and related issues:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-49564397

 
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Offline Miriam_M

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Re: Is the Church too "Euro-Centric"?
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2020, 02:32:05 PM »
The Church was likely multicultural from the start, e.g., portions of the Bible alluding to various cultures across thousands of years, the Bible itself taken partly from Judaism, etc. Various Catholic practices found in various countries also started during periods of colonialism, which was two to four centuries ago.

And now there's the growth of Catholicism in poorer regions, especially in Africa, as richer countries face population aging and related issues:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-49564397

Multiculturalism as a conscious movement is not equivalent to evangelization in Third World countries, even though by result, the latter does make the Church more multicultural in sum, and I agree with you that from the beginning, clearly the Church was multicultural, given all the references to that in Acts, the Epistles, historical narrative, etc.

When today's Church leaders speak of multiculturalism  they are most often referring to how the secular world conceives of it:  Making First World Catholic environments "look more" like Third World environments.  It's about numerical representation of members, as well as "inculturation" from the Third to the First World.
 
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Offline james03

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Re: Is the Church too "Euro-Centric"?
« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2020, 02:43:52 PM »
The Church is "Roman Centric", because Europe is the old Roman empire.  God chose Rome to start Christianity.
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Offline FamilyRosary

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Re: Is the Church too "Euro-Centric"?
« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2020, 09:03:39 PM »

And now there's the growth of Catholicism in poorer regions, especially in Africa, as richer countries face population aging and related issues:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-49564397

Multiculturalism as a conscious movement is not equivalent to evangelization in Third World countries, even though by result, the latter does make the Church more multicultural in sum, and I agree with you that from the beginning, clearly the Church was multicultural, given all the references to that in Acts, the Epistles, historical narrative, etc.

When today's Church leaders speak of multiculturalism  they are most often referring to how the secular world conceives of it:  Making First World Catholic environments "look more" like Third World environments.  It's about numerical representation of members, as well as "inculturation" from the Third to the First World.

Boldface was added by me.

This always puzzled me, I couldn't figure out why the obviously materialistic and financially-strapped Church leaders of the 60's and 70's were willing to trade First World members who contribute billions to the Church's coffers for Third Worlders who make $120 a year. Then I saw a graph detailing the sources of the Church's income: only 11% of its operating budget comes from weekly donations by parishioners. The great majority of Church funds comes from hospitals, schools, and universities. No wonder those things are so expensive! But it also means that the Church doesn't really need us pewsitters. It doesn't really care what we want or think. It has bigger fish to fry. As long as Catholic, Inc. is a viable market brand, it can bankroll its conferences and synods and ecumenical outreaches and all other similar foolishness very well without us. We're just an appendage to the whole operation, maybe a photo-op for the news media at best.
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Offline ralfy

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Re: Is the Church too "Euro-Centric"?
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2020, 10:38:34 PM »

Multiculturalism as a conscious movement is not equivalent to evangelization in Third World countries, even though by result, the latter does make the Church more multicultural in sum, and I agree with you that from the beginning, clearly the Church was multicultural, given all the references to that in Acts, the Epistles, historical narrative, etc.

When today's Church leaders speak of multiculturalism  they are most often referring to how the secular world conceives of it:  Making First World Catholic environments "look more" like Third World environments.  It's about numerical representation of members, as well as "inculturation" from the Third to the First World.

I'm referring to the OP's argument and the topic of this thread.
 

Offline ralfy

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Re: Is the Church too "Euro-Centric"?
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2020, 10:45:01 PM »

Boldface was added by me.

This always puzzled me, I couldn't figure out why the obviously materialistic and financially-strapped Church leaders of the 60's and 70's were willing to trade First World members who contribute billions to the Church's coffers for Third Worlders who make $120 a year. Then I saw a graph detailing the sources of the Church's income: only 11% of its operating budget comes from weekly donations by parishioners. The great majority of Church funds comes from hospitals, schools, and universities. No wonder those things are so expensive! But it also means that the Church doesn't really need us pewsitters. It doesn't really care what we want or think. It has bigger fish to fry. As long as Catholic, Inc. is a viable market brand, it can bankroll its conferences and synods and ecumenical outreaches and all other similar foolishness very well without us. We're just an appendage to the whole operation, maybe a photo-op for the news media at best.

I think it's part of evangelization, which means spreading God's Word to as many souls as possible.